Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's Me!! And my secret.

I feel like I haven’t been honest about something and I need to get it off my chest today. But first, I have some administrative items to take care of.


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Welcome to http://www.erin-brady.com/ !! I created my own domain name so that people who know me will have an easier time finding my blog. I am not sure if the transition is 100% complete but I am so excited! So bear with me as I tweak and arrange the settings of my new home.

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I missed Tiffany’s blog hop yesterday. Momentous Monday is such a great way to start the week and I was bummed that I just couldn’t get a post together before the end of the day. My plan was to write one up last night after dinner but I just got so busy scrubbing and folding laundry it just didn’t happen. Tiffany, I am on it for next week…I promise!

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On to the meat of this post…

Yes. I have been keeping something to myself since I started this blog and with my new name, should come a new honesty. When I started blogging, I hid behind my anonymity for a while. Then I got a little more comfortable so I stepped out a bit. Now, I am all the way out there and there is no more hiding. Part of me is still afraid to say controversial things (like I am about to say) because of how friends, family and my church family will react. But God knows my heart and my ultimate goal is to please Him. If what I say pleases Him but people don’t like it, then who cares? Right? I want to please Him.

So here goes…

I am not a fan of church.

Whew. I said it. Out loud. I do actually feel better.

Before you write me off as a crazy lunatic and cancel your subscription to my blog, allow me to explain.

I am a fan of God. I am a fan of worship. I am a fan of serving Him. I am a fan being a Christian. But I am not a fan of church.

(There are exceptions to every rule and I must caveat this by saying that there ARE churches out there that are on fire for God. There are churches that are really serving Him. I AM a fan of these churches.)

The truth is that I think the modern church has lost its way. It is more concerned with the mundane than its intended purpose; it is driven by quantity and not quality; it follows the schedule/bulletin rather than feeling instruction from The Holy Spirit; there are committees to manage the committees but very little concern over the lost souls of the community.

I don’t think that this situation is unique to my church. In fact, I know it’s not. I read an interesting article by Jon Zens on Frank Viola’s website last week and I just can’t get it out of my head. The title of the article is “Are We Eating with the Right People? Thoughts from 1 Corinthians 5.” I highly recommend it as further explanation of my issues with the modern church. This is amazing. It confirmed to me that I was not the only one feeling this way.

There is so much more that we can be doing for Jesus. I understand the need of getting “sheep food” and church is the place to get it. I also love the relationships that I have with other people in the Body of Christ.

But once a person develops a relationship with Christ and is steady on their Christian walk, the church starts to…well…suck them dry. Going to church on Sunday morning is no longer enough. We are then expected to go Sunday night. And Wednesday night. And don’t forget Sunday school. And choir practice. And the women’s meeting on Monday. And prayer meeting on Friday. The next thing you know, you are at church seven nights a week.

Inside the building. With other people who already know Christ. Planning events for and singing with other people who already know Christ.

At what point do we stop interacting with only other Christians and start reaching out to people who don’t know Him? To do this, it requires one to step outside of the church.

I want to be known as a friend to sinners and I want to eat with the wrong people (see article from above).

The church resides in a box and I want to blow that box to shreds.

We need to unchurch the church.

Any ideas?

15 comments:

  1. I was watching a Passion service and Louie shared his burden about being a doorkeeper. Standing at the door ushering in people to see Jesus. But you can't invite them if you don't know them. I am so challenged right now and am not the only one. We are followers of Christ!

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  2. This is happening everywhere. Hypocrisy. You are not alone in your thinking. Keep walking the walk though...

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  3. So what you are saying is you love the Church, the bride of Christ but not our compromised, watered-down institution of the church. And it's time for the true Church to step up and act like it. And I agree!

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  4. Erin,

    Your words have echoed in my head for so long. I have been feeling this way for ages. I tell my husband and he agrees but doesn't see how it can change. I told him we have lost what it means to be a first century church. That was the model set up for us in Acts. I am tired of church too.

    There is now a guilt if we are not at everything or a pressure from Sunday School teachers if we aren't putting our kids in Sunday School each week.

    Just know that you are not alone. I do believe there is a groundswelling of believers who are feeling the exact same way. Sadly many people who profess Christ are completely fine with church being turned into a social gathering. But change is coming. Chin up!

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  5. Oh my goodness, Erin, you're singing my song! We have been church hunting for 2 years now and are completely disenchanted with all the churches in our area. We found the "answers" in our community groups in the past, but in our current area, we've been unable to find those as well that welcome children. With no family in the area, our children must come with us. And a church that doesn't serve the kids is a problem to me -- because what will the future be?

    I don't know the answer. But I do need to stop complaining about the problem and start creating an answer! :)

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  6. I am SO glad I found your blog...I LOVE this post! I've said this often!!! I just talked to my pastor a few weeks ago after service and chatted about how I want to hang with the non-church folk. I want to live an example to them. So many Christians feel more comfy in a bubble with friends who only believe what they do, but it doesn't bug me at all.

    Jesus would be hanging with them...and so should we.

    I'm also not a fan of 'religion' .. huge fan of relationship with Christ, just not things 'religious'.

    ~melody~

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  7. Amen Sister Erin!

    Start a Coup- I will join.

    xo

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  8. I just want to say a BIG HUGE AMEN!!! And I'm so glad you posted about that article from 1 Cor. 5, I need to read that.

    Let me start by saying that I love my church and it's been a wonderful place for my family over the last year...but...my in-law's church is a totally different story and it bugs me to death. I don't understand why people can get so bent out of shape over what color to paint the foyer, but ignore the hungry, needy, people that need to hear about the love of God that are right there in their own town. I actually sat in a women's class there one time and listened to them talk about how they're only supposed to help certain widows, not all of them and when one lady spoke up and asked "aren't we Christians, aren't we supposed to help anyone in need?" they actually told her no.

    I could go on and on...all I know is, I want to teach my children thath God's church is not a building or a place that we go...it's people and each and every person on the planet needs to hear about it and needs to see the love of God. Thanks for posting this Erin, way to step out and speak up for God!!

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  9. Two words: Laodicean Church

    This is the state we are in now. It's sad but true. You are so right in your assessment.

    I have been blessed to be at a church that is on fire for Christ. Every Sunday night...every Sunday night...we are in the community and sharing the gospel..the REAL hard truth of Christ's blood being shed for our sins. At my church we are not afraid to say sin! lol. It's not a sin to point out sin! LOL.

    Many churches today are trying to appeal to the flesh and not the spirit. In that, many churches are filled with tares and not wheat. That is the downfall. The church is not for your comfort or the unsaved.

    Thank you for speaking on this topic. God bless you!

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  10. I agree with your assessment...unfourtuately we see this all the much more in the "Bible Belt". I am thankful for those whose passion is to truely serve...and not always be served. Those hungry to reach out and not stay stagnite where they are at. God help us to keep His vision...to reach others and share the gospel!!

    Love-
    Jenn Mc

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  11. Our church wanted us to go on Wednesday nights in addition to Sunday morning & evening! Too much, and all the offerings were getting a little out of hand. I don't mind giving 10% but when is it enough! Every time you look up they're taking another collection (rolls eyes)

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  12. I am so there with you. In fact after leaving my Church last year I have yet to find one that I love. Or at least feel like is fostering a genuine community. I know a lot of that is where I live. As someone mentioned above...the Bible Belt. Sigh. I wish I could find a home church at this point. I am craving authentic community. Love. The Bride of Christ.

    (Also your post below about God's Voice. Beautiful. I will remember that one for a while!)

    I hope you had an amazing time at the Beth Moore Simulcast. It was so challenging and inspiring. I know I will be processing this for a while. I am so ready to shed my old and wear the NEW!! :)

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  13. I agree, but I think those with like mind, should not run from church, but be a part of it, prayerfully working toward bringing that change. Our church is very good at reaching out, our whole mission is to reach our community for Jesus, but there is alwaYs room for more... Being led by the holy spirit. God is our head, we are his hands and feet and thinking we run the place is a grave mistake.
    I do believe that the bride if Christ is rising up, getting dressed and opening her spiritual eyes. It's time for church to look more like Jesus and less like a man made holy huddle. God I'd at work, his children ate rising up to see in the spirit and to be filled with boldness to start shouting the way of the king!
    His kingdom come! :0)

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  14. * God is at work, his children are rising up....

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  15. Agreed! I used to live in China and church.......obviously was frowned upon, but those that did go in secret....had a fire that you wouldn't believe. THey REALLY wanted to meet and serve each other. I think that there are churches that are geared towards the seekers...which is fine (using the big screens/smoke machines/lighting as a tool). But when that is what it is ALL about...?? come on. I go to a church that is.....well.....lets just say I walk out of there disappointed ever week that the gospel COULD have been shared. I think there is a fear of offending that they dance around things. We continue to go out of love of fellowship, but should that be the reason? argh...frustration! Thanks for sharing the post!

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